The Falls City AL Senior baseball team battled back from an early 5-1 deficit and took it’s seventh seed and a dramatic 8-6 lead into the bottom half of the sixth inning Sunday night in the championship game of the SE Nebraska Conference at Nebraska City’s Steinhart Park, but there Plattsmouth rallied for four runs to take a 10-8 victory.
After a pair of thrilling triumphs at Syracuse (6-3) Wednesday and at home against Nebraska City (6-4) Friday, the Storm clinched its second consecutive Southern Division title and fourth of the past five years. Sunday, however, it seemed the Storm had finally subsided, as a horrific opening inning saw No. 1 seed Plattsmouth take a 5-1 lead. Left-handed starter Noah Milam issued three walks and hit a batter, while his defense committed a pair of errors and the first five P-Town batters reached and scored. It could’ve been much worse, as Plattsmouth left bases loaded on a warning-track shot to deep center, caught by FC’s Tyler DiGiacomo to end the frame. DiGiacomo single-handedly both started – with a single and run scored – and, mercifully, ended the first frame.
FC, now 9-9 on the 2015 season, didn’t lie down. Second baseman Rudy Vrtiska hit a one-out double in the second and scored on a single by third baseman Weston Witt (3-for-3, 2 RBI), making it 5-2. Meanwhile, Milam settled down to pitch a scoreless second and reliever Trenton Pentecost came on with one down in the third and effectively shut Plattsmouth down through the fifth.
Trailing 6-2, FC scored three runs in the top of the fourth to make it a game again. Catcher Ransom Campbell was hit by a pitch and Brandt Chapple came in as a courtesy runner. Following a double by Logan Scheitel, Chapple scored from third on a sac fly to right off Vrtiska’s bat, and Witt drove Scheitel in with a double to right. Witt scored on a double by Pentecost. DiGiacomo lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
Pentecost faced just four in the bottom half, fanning the right fielder looking to end the inning, and FC took the lead in the top half. Just like the fourth, albeit with two outs, it was Campbell getting hit by a pitch that started the rally. Scheitel, Vrtiska and Witt singled in succession and suddenly the Storm had a two-run lead. Unfortunately, FC wouldn’t reach base the rest of the game.
Plattsmouth led the fifth off with a single, but Pentecost fanned the No. 9 batter and Campbell threw out the lead-off hitter trying to steal second. Later, with two on, a grounder to Witt ended the threat.
But after FC went in order in the top of the sixth, the first four Plattsmouth batters reached and scored on Scheitel, who came on in relief after throwing a 133-pitch gem last Wednesday at Syracuse.
FC brought the middle of its lineup to the dish in the seventh, but three grounders ended the Storm’s title hopes.
DiGiacomo and Witt were both named to the SENBC All-Conference Team, while Chaz Dunn and Scheitel each earned Honorable Mention.
The team hosts Doniphan County (KS) Wednesday at SNC Field. They’re then off until a Tuesday, July 7 home game with Sabetha, KS.